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HD Livestream of Earth Now Available 24/7 from the Space Station



Live streaming video by Ustream

Now, live from space, it’s Earth all the time! A new experiment called the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) was launched on April 18, 2014 in the “trunk” on the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and has been set up outside the International Space Station. The set of four commercial HD video cameras and is now operational, after being installed on the External Payload Facility of the ESA Columbus module yesterday. The cameras and electronics are enclosed in a pressurized box to provide protection to the equipment from the harsh environment of space.

Above is the UStream video, or you can bookmark the UStream site here, or view this page from Johnson Space Center which also provides a visual tracker of where the ISS is located over Earth.

Please note that the screen will appear black when the ISS is in orbital night — which happens every 90 minutes and lasts about 40 minutes. There also has been some downtime off and on that I’ve noted while watching this morning. This may be due to some initial setup/operation issues, or some occurrences of loss of signal. UPDATE: NASA’s now provided additional info on what’s happening if you’re not seeing beautiful views of Earth at anytime during the live feed: Black Scenes = Night side of the Earth; Gray Scenes = Switching to the next camera, or the communications downlink from the ISS in not available at the moment.

Also, the live video feed from HDEV will occasionally be unavailable due to loss of Ku-band transmission from the International Space Station. If that happens, just check the site again later.

But, having live HD streaming views of Earth is pretty awesome – but it’s also nifty to note that this is part of a student project.

High school students helped design of some of the HDEV components through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. Student teams will also help operate the experiment.

Screenshot from the HDEV cameras on the International Space Station. Via @ISS101

Screenshot from the HDEV cameras on the International Space Station. Via @ISS101

This experiment is completely separate from the UrtheCast commercial cameras on the ISS.

The HDEV does not record video on board the ISS, but all video is transmitted to the ground in real time. See the graphic below that explains how the cameras cycle automatically.

Part of the experiment is to test out the camera and equipment and assess the hardware’s ability to survive and function for long periods in space.

Enjoy!

HDEV11

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bugzzz May 1, 2014, 3:51 PM

    Love it.

    • Fraser Cain May 1, 2014, 4:08 PM

      I think I’m going to just put this on a screen somewhere and leave it.

  • arromazam May 2, 2014, 12:35 AM

    …I keep on saying that thanks to NASA, the Hubble Telescope and the Rovers; the “View from my house window” has turn into the most amazing view anyone can hope for…
    Now with HDEV my window has just got bigger.
    Thanks a lot.
    .- Fraser, I am building a Cuppola to keep that “on” screen…..

  • Astrogadfly May 4, 2014, 10:36 PM

    Is the system working ? After several hours all I have is a gray screen without any features ? What am I doing wrong ?

  • svengalis May 13, 2014, 2:27 PM

    looks different from the pictures i have seen of earth.

    • svengalis May 13, 2014, 6:07 PM

      also i wander how long this is going to be available to view.

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